31 October 2015

I.DID.IT. Comeback Queen V3

I've avoided posting anything at all for ages as chemo side effects got a little tough at times, but that's all past now, so here's a Comeback Queen V3 update:

With those same pesky side effects also meaning virtually no running was possible, Supercoach insisted I leave entry for the Bali International Triathlon until the last minute.

I think he knew and wanted to let me down lightly, as it became increasing obvious that as much as I wanted to do it, the 1.5km swim, 40km bike, 10 run distance was going to be too much, too soon.

I was swimming ok (just) even managed to rejoin squad for the final two weeks before the race.  Being at the back of the latte lane never felt so good!

Riding was coming along well thanks to getting out mostly on my mountain bike (more stable than Ms Trek on those dizzy days) but the distance in the ride bank wasn't really enough for a 40km ride.

Running - well think walk + moments of Cliff Young shuffle - and you will get an idea of where I was when chemo finished. Admittedly my shuffle time between walks was increasing, but with the increased effort, so was my huffing and puffing.

So from then on, with fingers crossed that I wasn't still biting off more than I could chew, the 750m swim, 20km bike, 5km run Sprint option became my focus.

I approached my final week of training (two weeks post chemo) with all the dedication of a true Ironman - gritted my teeth and got on with it.

Swimming and riding boxes got ticked off as good to go, but running was still dodgy. Unlike me, at least Ms Trek was in tip top condition thanks to the Cycle Zone Darwin crew.

We knew the run course in Bali included a few long steep sections, but I found I still really, really, really wanted to do it.

So granted Supercoach approval to enter the  Sprint distance, my race plan became: start swim, assess body at end of swim, start bike, reassess body, start run and see what happened.

It was a given that I would pull the pin if I was distressed in any way.

More pre race good news was that race organisers really concentrated on get the ride course flowing smoothly again this year and to do that enlisted the help of hundreds of police officers.

Here's me letting some the guys know their assistance out on the bike & run courses would be appreciated. 

And then, finally some three weeks & two days after finishing six months of chemo, I found myself in Bali & on the start line at Jimbaran, feeling no pressure, totally excited to there and just wanting to enjoy every minute of this amazing course.

That's me in the SOAS Aquarius kit, 
getting a few pointers prior to my wave start

Didn't swim too badly after all it turns out!

Off the bike and on to the run in under an hour, 
no wonder I smiled!

Done & dusted in 1:39:41 - can't begin to describe
how awesome it felt to complete my first triathlon since Challenge Laguna Phuket 11 months ago!

Meanwhile the main event was still underway and I was stoked to be able to cheer home my good friend & prime motivator Kylie (who raced on a borrowed bike, in my spare tri kit, and in sundry other loaned and/or hastily purchased items after Jetstar left her bike bag containing all her race kit back in Darwin). First woman home she is now Female Champion of the 2015 Bali International Triathlon!!

Congrats Kylie!!

And it was great to be there to cheer home the rest of those racing from Darwin

Daryl finishes 3rd in category!

When results were confirmed, we had all done well and featured in our local NT News:

15 seconds of fame

After being in doubt just a month ago, it was such a good feeling to know that this Comeback Queen had nailed Version 3 and truthfully I've still got an inner glow happening.

Its been a long year and it seemed to take forever to get from my surgery at the end of January & through the six months of chemotherapy to finally reaching my Bali goal last weekend and I couldn't have done it without some very special people.  

Daryl (my calm in the storm) has been there, always supportive, every step of the way and likewise Jess & Peter and their families have been my anchors and I love them all dearly.

Flora & Di keep me sane, grounded and listen to my ramblings however long they take; Kylie keeps on my case and many a time has managed to get me from horizontal to vertical when I needed it most and also much appreciated is Ali's empathy, we are both looking for brighter times in 2016! Daryl's squad offer me so much encouragement, as do fellow Darwin Triathlon Club members - a big thank you to you all.

I can't bring my Comeback Queen V3 to a close without thanking the wonderful SOAS Crew who have been so supportive and generous throughout the year. Thank you! Then there are the Team SOAS members who are a delight and have enabled me to participate vicariously through their posts!  Well done to all you totally amazing women!

No way I can overlook the Cycle Zone factor either. Their VIP service and ensuring both my bikes are in perfect condition whether I was just up for half an hour around the block or heading for Bali is appreciated, always.  Thanks guys!

So there it is - I DID IT - and it feels great!

What's next?  

I'd love to say a half iron distance somewhere, but I'm booked for another scan & bloods sooner than expected, so no plans until those test results are in.  

In the meantime I'll concentrate on getting stronger on the bike and ditching the Cliff Young shuffle asap and have crossed my fingers  there won't be a version 4 required for this Comeback Queen. 

If you haven't yet, I recommend putting Bali International Triathlon 
on your bucket list.